Page 1668 - Week 06 - Thursday, 3 June 2021

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our city, they provide routes for our buses to drive along, they provide the direct connections between key locations for our shared path network to follow and they are increasingly used by Canberra’s expanding zero emissions vehicle fleet. Without these strategic transport corridors, residents in our new communities would be disconnected from the services and facilities that all other Canberrans enjoy and be isolated from different transport options that help make Canberra livable.

In the Molonglo Valley, planning of our strategic transport corridors has occurred in stages as the region has developed. With stage 1 already on-line, stage 2 under development as we speak and stage 3 progressing through the planning stage, we are ensuring our road network supports population growth. We delivered the duplication of the Cotter Road in 2018 and we opened the first two sections of John Gorton Drive in the middle of last year. In January last year, we also changed the line marking on Adelaide Avenue to create a dedicated on-ramp onto the Cotter Road, preventing queuing of traffic coming out of the Molonglo Valley.

We also finished upgrades to the north Weston park and ride in October last year, providing over 40 new car spaces to help residents connect with our rapid bus network. The strategic transport model tells us that, as this population continues to grow, there will be additional pressure on the transport network. Particular roads we know will face pressure include William Hovell Drive, Tuggeranong Parkway and Parkes Way. That is why the ACT government is investing in these roads today.

The ACT government has a major investment in the pipeline for road upgrades around Molonglo and Weston Creek, which are currently at either the feasibility, concept design or detailed design stages, with construction to follow. These investments are made on evidence, with the communities’ needs at the forefront of our thinking.

The most significant project currently underway in the Molonglo Valley is the completion of John Gorton Drive and the construction of a new bridge over the Molonglo River. The project is progressing well, with the development application approved in February this year. In addition to providing carriageway for private vehicles, the bridge will be future-proofed for light rail and public transport priority is currently under investigation for the intersections along John Gorton Drive. As a key transport corridor, the bridge will also include both on-road shared and an off-road shared path. We look forward to commencing the process to procure a design and construction contractor later this year, with the intent of undertaking detailed design work next year and commencing construction in mid-2023 ahead of the bridge opening as early as 2025.

We are also progressing work on the duplication of 4.5 kilometres worth of carriageway along William Hovell Drive, connecting the Molonglo Valley to Belconnen. Detailed design is nearing completion, which will take the project to a shovel-ready state ahead of construction commencing next year. In Weston Creek, feasibility studies are about to commence for the intersections of Streeton Drive with Namatjira Drive and Heysen Street to make getting in and out of the group centre safer.

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